Archive for the 'cooking' Category

holiday cookin’

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately. There are many reasons: watching tv on a tiny 24″ lcd doesn’t quite give me that HD thrill; the pocket book it tight, so we don’t go out much; i need to get my fill of tasty food; cooking is like engineering lite–prepping food is akin to building libraries, devising the execution plan such that everything comes out hot at the same time is kinda like software engineering, and in the end you get yourself a nice little product. Sometimes i almost enjoy the execution more than the end food product (not that the food is bad, but i just like executing).

Anyway, I got ambitious this year and decided to cook thanksgiving dinner for carmen’s mom. The menu was as follows:

  • Empanadas
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Roast Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce

Many an astute reader will notice the menu is similar to our first annoual pre-thanksgiving warm-up dinner. That is not a coincidence. I opted to swap out the tart cranberry sauce for a more traditional one and one of carmen’s mom’s friends brought the mashed potatoes. I think this meal actually turned out better than the first. the turkey was a bit juicier, the stuffing had better taste–although not entirely better consistency, and the cranberry sauce was a major leap forward.

After eating two turkeys in as many weeks, i think i’m officially done with the bird for a while. time to move on to some red-meat.

1st annual Pre-Thanksgiving warm-up dinner

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Went off fairly well. After planning for weeks and getting some practice in, it was game time. The menu was as follows:

  • Empanadas
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Roast Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Tart Cranberry Sauce
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes

To round out the menu, our friend Mel was nice enough to bring some salad and mac and cheese, the chungs brought dessert, and everyone else brought the libations. We also threw in some brioche rolls from balthazar.

All in all, everything turned out pretty well. The day started of poorly as i quickly fell behind in making the empanadas, but I was able to catch up in prep time for the soup and mashed potatoes. The turkey also took a bit longer to cook than anticipated which threw the timing off.

The whole meal took about 11 hours of cooking which left me pretty tired. We also moved through five bottles of wine in what seemed like 1 hour.

Unfortunately, i don’t think we have any pics of the event, but perhaps someone else was able to capture a few snapshots here and there. Many apologies if you didn’t get an invite this year. Carmen and I were a bit nervous about our first house party, so we kept it low-key. We’ll throw a bigger bash next year!